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Max Planck Florida Institute Finalizes Land Agreement for Six Acres at FAU’S MacArthur Campus

JUPITER, Fla. (October 5, 2009) – The Max Planck Florida Institute is one step closer to moving into its permanent location on six acres at Florida Atlantic University’s (FAU) John D. MacArthur Campus in Jupiter. The Florida Division of State Lands, Palm Beach County, FAU and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently finalized an agreement with the nonprofit research organization for the parcel of vacant land adjacent to Scripps Florida to build a 100,000-square-foot biomedical facility and laboratories. The land is part of FAU’s contribution to Palm Beach County’s $94 million incentive package to bring the German-based Max Planck Society to Jupiter. Under the agreement, the Max Planck Florida Institute will occupy the land rent-free for 50 years and include approximately 10,000 square feet within the new building to be used for collaborative research and educational efforts with the university.

“We have already established a strong, multi-faceted relationship with the Max Planck Florida Institute that is both inspiring and beneficial to our students and our faculty,” said Dr. Gary Perry, Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and Professor of Neuroscience at FAU. “We believe their research focus will provide a critical opportunity to translate discoveries of basic research into clinical and patient-oriented applications, leading to better medical diagnostics and quality of care.”

The Max Planck Florida Institute is currently operating in a 40,000-square-foot temporary facility on the MacArthur Campus. Nobel Laureate Dr. Bert Sakmann is the inaugural scientific director who is leading a research team focused on studying the arrangement of nerves in the brain, which could lead to a better understanding of brain degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s.  

“The Board of County Commissioners is firmly committed to establishing a bioscience cluster to broaden our economic base and provide educational enrichment opportunities to the residents of Palm Beach County,” said Assistant County Administrator Shannon LaRocque-Bass. “The Max Planck Florida Institute is an important piece to that long-term puzzle.”

 Construction on the permanent facility is expected to begin in Spring 2010, and is scheduled for completion by Fall 2011. For more information, visit


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